The Importance of Being Bernie

Andrew D Ellis
2 min readApr 14, 2020

I have written previously about the real lesson of the 2020 Super Tuesday results. Bernie’s spectacular 2020 flame-out tells us that his near-victory in the 2016 Democratic primaries was more a reflection of anti-Hillary animus than a measure of strong, broad-based support for Bernie.

But, to see how that translates into the 2020 election, we need to go back to August 2017 and, more specifically, to an article written by Danielle Kurtzleben for NPR entitled “Here’s How Many Bernie Sanders Supporters Ultimately Voted For Trump”. Ms. Kurtzleben presents the painful reality of the anti-Hillary/anti-Obama vote. Specifically, 1 in 10 Bernie primary voters voted for Trump and, in three key states, that numeric shift was enough to turn the election.

This year in Michigan, Bernie garned 570,000 votes, nearly equalling his 2016 totals. In Covid-plagued Wisconsin, Bernie was only able to get 270,000 votes. Pennsylvania is scheduled for June so comparisons to 2016 are not possible.

But, if we take Michigan as more illustrative of the Bernie’s vote potential, we can see that, in each of these three swing states, there is the possibility that 1 in 10 2020 Bernie voters could vote again…